Quick Quirk Word Pops


Third Week of Advent – December 13-19, 2015

Quick Quirk Word Pops

Biblical Text: Isaiah 12:2-6

Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity:

A “Quick Quirk” that can strengthen “first response, best response” capability and a willingness to “blurt” without thinking and thus bypass those pesky filters. Think beyond normal boundaries. You’ll be amazed at your own creativity! New ideas! Connections you’d never thought of before! Who knew?!


This is meant to be a fast Playdate…5 minutes or so. You may want to do a couple of these at one sitting. Or more. Play with it. See how quick and how random and how surprising you can be!

Items Needed:

Pen and some random scrap of paper. You may, of course, use a page of your journal or any other “nice” paper … but this is a playdate that can work when you’re waiting on line, or in a doctor’s office, or anytime you’ve got a few spare minutes—even just 5 minutes! Grab an envelope or a napkin or the margin of a newspaper. Use the back of receipt, a playbill, or a bulletin. Tuck a playdate into your spare time. Good brain food. Good soul food. Have fun!

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  • Read Isaiah 12:2-6.
  • Select any word from the text—trivial or key or otherwise, any word will do!
  • Do a quick 2-level Word-Pop on it.
    • Write the word you’ve selected in the center of your paper-scrap. Circle it.
    • Lightning quick, surround that word with at least six words or phrases that the Center Word triggers. These can be any word or phrase that pop into your head. Cultural references (songs, tv shows, memes, whatever), memories, synonyms, antonyms, metaphors, emotions, hymns, random whatever. Anything goes. If you think it, jot it down!
    • Extend this to a 3-level Word-Pop (if your canvas allows).

For Full instructions on Word-popping, see Word-Popping the Text.


Be creative and make your own adaptations of this playdate. Here are some that come to mind–

  • all 2nd-level word-pops must begin with the same letter
  • all 2nd-level word-pops must be proper names (persons, cities, offices, brand names, whatever)
  • the first letters of the 2nd-level word-pops must spell out the Center Word
  • all 2nd-level word-pops must be song lyrics

. . . now make up your own!

In Closing . . .

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

First Response, Best Response
Living Beyond the Rational
The Dotted Mind
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture Email ARCHIVES

Creative Commons License
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at virginiawiles.com.

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